How much mpg do you get out your trail dog?

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  • How much mpg do you get out your trail dog?
  • Premier Icon Onzadog

    What happens when he’s had enough? Does his gait change? If so, I’d call that his limit and come back from there to protect his health. If it’s just flopping down, it could be a fuelling issue. Dogs seem happy with a short hard blast or all day trotting. What most won’t do, and doesn’t do them any good is all day blasting. Remember, that’s their blasting, not yours.

    Ours used to do 8 hours around the Peak. The occasional fast downhill but the average speed overall was about 4mph so easy for him to sustain.


    nine miles

    Is he actually doing 9 miles or does he go off and do a lot more? It could be as much as double.

    Just checked a one way route I used to do with the spaniel (get her picked up as I felt that was her maximum) and it’s bang on 14km (9m) for me so she will be doing about 14 miles at least. I take more snacks for the dog than I do for myself. Plety of rest breaks for her too and I make sure she rests.

    If you are worried then first port of call is your vet.


    If you are worried the first port of call is shorter rides.


    40k muscular dog might not be the best built for longevity either, sounds like more of a sprinter to me. Also, what the hell is ‘puggled’?


    Puggled – tired and/or drunk.

    Surely it depends on which breed of dog? Also, the dog will be tracking backward and forwards and ranging either side of the route so will be covering vastly greater distances than you.

    Weimaraner is bred for hunting so multiple short bursts of frenetic activity with rest periods in between would probably suit better.

    What you want is a Dalmatian, They were bred as carriage dogs and can run at a fair pace all day. Mad as a box of frogs though.

    Greyhound for the sprint. Labrador for a sprint to the fridge.

    Premier Icon DezB

    There does seem to be some competition on here to see who’s trail dog goes the furthest.

    I do what’s right for my dog. Take breaks and go at the dog’s pace.
    Out on our regular ride (no idea of mileage, not something I feel the need to measure) we stop off at a pond, where she goes for a dip – she always gets excited around the pond and will sprint round after sticks (or me) for a while.
    Then we’re off on the usual speed.


    I’ve got a four and a half year old weimaraner that I take round local woods and reservoir. He loves it but he seems to be puggled after nine miles or so despite a couple of years practice. Taking him out when it’s cool, there’s a stream for water and it’s up and down and mud paths so his paws don’t get shredded. He’s a solid muscle of forty kilos.

    What’s your experience with your pooch? Is this the upper limit or is there anything I can do to help go further but not damaging his health?


    If your dog is tracking animals during the ride it will be doing double that distance. You need to make sure your average speed is low. I find on a flat ride you have to be really careful to go slow enough. Steep hilly rides are better for you dog as they get a rest whilst you are slogging up a hill then short blast down the other side.


    Does 8 miles regularly and is a 40kg trail dog. She knows the route and cuts the corners as much as poss but does occasionally burst for the odd squirrel. She can cover 12-13ish fairly well however then requires rest for atleast a day at a time. Shes benched for a while though due to being attacked in the forest this week, will have to wait for the puncture holes to be fully healed!


    Our working cocker would run all day given the chance but she’d be hobbling for days after.
    Just because they can do these runs does not mean that they should.

    Premier Icon Brainflex

    Don’t forget that diet is a factor in how your dog does. They benefit from trail snacks as well as a quality diet at home


    My 18 month Cocker spaniel comes running with me 2/3 times per week. Despite all the information I have gleaned from breeders/vets/web etc I have found the following things to be true:

    1: As much as you would like them to they cant “run all day” My dog gets quite tired after about 5-6 miles although if its cool and the running is easy he is OK with maybe 8/8 and I watch him carefully to ensure he is still enjoying himself and curtail my run if I think he is a bit tired.

    2: Mine ALWAYS wants to start a run with me and will sit in front of the door to stop me getting out or literally lie on top of my shoes when I am getting changed. Just because he is “up for it” doesnt mean he is recovered from the last run or is fit for this one. Unless each run is short/slow then I dont do consecutive days.

    3: They are sensitive to speed, anything sustained at around 6 min miling or faster and he is less comfortable even for only a mile or 2.

    4: My Cocker doesnt appear to have a “training affect” for example between his first short runs at about 11 months and now his “fitness” doesnt really seem to have improved. His limits and speed seem about the same.

    5: He is very sensitive to warm weather

    I have seen people riding at Llandegla with dogs that dont appear to be “enjoying” it IMO and I think their is a lot of owner bravado. Thats not to say some dogs arent suited to this but I think their are only a small number of breeds and many active breeds (Like Spaniels) are built to be outdoors and active for many hours at a time but few dogs are meant to sustain a reasonable speed IMO


    Thanks for the replies. It was intended as a light hearted question rather than a concern, and I would always have the best interests of my floppy-faced pal at heart.

    Being deep chested he’s not allowed to eat 2 hours before exercise or an hour after to reduce potential stomach twist, so have not taken any treats with me previously. He’s definitely temperature sensitive which I avoid, and I don’t do consecutive days either.

    His gait doesn’t really change other than he moves to a plod rather than a run, but from the sounds of it it might be that the pace is a little too high in bits as it is more XC type of trails but given the breed was hunting deer and boar I thought they would go for days as those little critters tend to run, and not slowly either. OK, not witnessed a boar in rural Scotland yet…

    There’s a good downhill blast towards the end of the run and he knows I wait at the bottom but isn’t that far behind yet other uphill bits he’s quite far behind. Maybe he loves the down or he’s just saving his effort for the last bit.

    I was more surprised that there didn’t seem to be a training effect and an improvement over time. Sounds like I might need to get some steeper stuff to drop my pace but that involves a drive rather than being on the doorstep.

    Thanks for the compare and contrast.

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    They were bred as carriage dogs and can run at a fair pace all day.

    English ones were, the originals were hunting dogs. I currently have a hunter not a runner.

    The runner I did have could trot at 8mph for hours, I needed water and rest stops built in to avoid him doing himself damage.

    They have all been dumb/clumsy in varying degrees. The hunter is a ‘character’.


    There does seem to be some competition on here to see who’s trail dog goes the furthest.

    is there? Can’t say I have ever noticed it.

    I would hope no one thinks it’s clever to push an animal beyond it’s limits.

    Premier Icon Ming the Merciless

    Chewie and Ahsoka can manage around 15-18 miles comfortably if its cool and it’s stop start social singletrack sections. On the fire road climbs they effortlessly trot up whilst you’re having a cardiac arrest.

    I tend to know when Chewie’s had enough as he’ll back off on singletrack rather than trying to beat me into every corner and Ahsoka stops hunting every squirrel/deer that comes across the trail.

    Hotter weather is less mileage and we tend to arrange the route round water troughs and dew ponds to assist with dog cooling.

    Continuous pace, like an open downland ride is also less miles as the higher average tends to knacker them out quicker.

    If I want a training ride for me I tend to put in more climbs than flats to knacker me out whilst the hounds get a pleasant trot!

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